By Angela Mazziotta

This little ditty is for anyone who had a hard time accepting that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny “aren’t real.” It’s for the people who believed once upon a time that Mickey and Minnie Mouse are two GIGANTIC talking mice (not some humans operating air-conditioned costumes) reigning over their kingdoms, Disney World and Disney Land. Sorry Californians: the former beats the latter for this Florida Cracker. It’s dedicated to everybody who thought witches, hobbits, elves and wizards were as real as lizards. If you wished for the Borrowers living in your floor and walls to shrink you to their size and invite you over for supper, I have news. If you believe in magic, or want to, grab your wand and read on.


I was first introduced to The Wizard by an unassuming business card that a friend picked up for me. Matt said, “Hey Angie, I came across this place. I think this guy is the real deal. Give him a call.” Feeling curious and open to trying anything, I made an appointment for 1:30pm the next day. I guessed I had; there had been a language barrier in making the appointment. Regardless of my uncertainty, I arrived promptly at 1:15 (respectfully leaving time to fill out a new patient form if necessary – it was not). The Wizard’s Lair is tucked in the back of a Chinese herbal shop. It’s so subtle that I looked quizzically at the sweet Chinese woman working the counter and was directed to force myself past the barrels of chopped, diced and grated tree parts – ahem! Mystical Herbs.

The Wizard seemed surprised to see me. Maybe 26-year-old American girl isn’t his typical demographic. A meek-me was speaking quietly and stepping with ginger feet so as not to wake nearby sleeping dragons. He listened to my pulse while I marveled at his lair…it was so hole-in-the-wall-cheesy! But I immediately felt comfortable and trustful of my new foreign friend. “Tongue.” Uhhh…what? Oh! “AAAHHH.” “Ok, I give you acupuncture and herbs. You come back Friday.” As if I had a choice in the matter, I said “Yes, Friday is great.” Then I watched him write in Chinese characters on the pink scrap paper that became my medical record.

My shoulder and neck pain had escalated to an all-time OUCH and two weeks from a major performance, I was doing anything and everything to find relief. A manager at my golf course job was the first to suggest acupuncture, reasoning that at the very least, “It’ll move your blood around.” Prior to my visit with The Wizard, I’d received acupuncture from a sliding scale community acupuncture center. It was gentle and zen-tle. This visit to The Wizard was my attempt at something a bit more intensive. As I lay face-down on the paper-lined medical recliner, I worried that I had undressed too early or too far. What if needles are only going in my ears, feet, hands and arms?! Then I’m topless for NO REASON! Is this culturally acceptable? Thank Magic I assumed right. The Wizard entered the cubicle room where I lay half-naked and expertly inserted each needle into places where the pain was most localized. How did he know? Doctors and massage therapists hadn’t been this accurate yet. “Ok,” he said. And my body went ZZZAP! What the h-e-double-f-word-scheisse?! It’s Electric! I soon got over the initial shock of it – pun completely intended – and started to relax. Paying attention to the involuntary contractions of my muscles, I had faith that this might be the relief I’d been looking for.

It seems important to mention that I dozed off and opened my eyes to a glistening puddle of drool still being fed by the gossamer thread spit spool of my mouth. My first impulse was to wipe my mouth and the fake leather cushion which held my pool. Thoughtlessly, I moved my right arm and EEHRRR!!! I was a living Operation game! There was no choice but to stay still and look down at my clear saliva lava lake. This made me snicker a little – the way a kid giggles at gross things like boogers.

Time didn’t exist, so when The Wizard returned, I felt like one of those fairy tale princesses who’d been sleeping for a century under some preservative spell. Except I was lying smashed-face-down, under a needle spell, waiting for a Chinese herbalist to wake me with a vigorous and painful massage. No sweet kisses for this Aurora (but perhaps a different kind of magic). I walked out in a bit of a daze with 4 perfectly placed pepper patches and a bag of magic tea herbs. A few visits later, my biggest concern was whether I’d get hungry enough to eat my imaginary boyfriend, Gregory, in my first performance with Project Thrust in URGE, and if I could help coax the audience into a free fall with the lovely ladies of Here Now Dance Collective in BURSTNOW.

I’ve decided to believe in magic. The fantasy lies in not knowing exactly how something works, just that it does. Continued visits to see The Wizard have helped in managing my chronic shoulder pain. Although I don’t completely understand how it works, those pulsing needles have stuck my trouble spots to my memory. This body wisdom goes a long way in the maintenance required for comfortable life journeys and dancescapades, but maybe there is value in leaving some of the gorey-boring details to the experts… Not that we shouldn’t be experts of our own bodies… But why not humor an image of muscles sighing through that little needle prick, or believe the sweat pouring off eyelashes, nose and earlobes in a hot bath is pure poison that your now purified body has been harboring for too long. The extra color in your cheeks and twinkle in your eye might be proof that magic exists and it happened to you.